xlvi

Three weeks of holiday. Fingers now hovering awkwardly over a new keyboard, over a new post, lots of talking behind me, thinking behind me. Rusty voice stumbling into being through a cloud of resistance, the old questions, the old doubts. So much planning has gone on, little of it to do with writing or my being a writer.

How to begin again? A reaching for the memory of why this is worth doing – how continuing to blow away this clutter that’s built up is important, vital even. How it was becoming self therapy for so much more besides, how it was laying ground for future stability as well as future creativity.

There’s something very vulnerable about this, not least due to the frank openness I’ve reached for but the out of control sensation of what I’ve written. As self indulgent as blogging could be, without publishing any of this I’d simply be sitting on top of unresolved, underdeveloped threads of thought – the danger almost forces me to keep pressing on, keep questioning.

And questioning of course in a positive way – not simply as self-interrogation but a Quest, a search. God, three weeks off has set me back who knows how much distance. This is all old stuff. But all that time is understandably piling back on the sleepy sandbags of old issues, old questions.

W2B has returned, though that’s not the reason I haven’t written since we got back from holiday. I simply haven’t had the impetus, not until maybe Friday. There was a day, she knee-deep in wedding planning, when I sat useless and without anything to do – or anything I could think of doing, the first-week blues following me home from the office, leaving me utterly fatigued. Empty.

I wrote a very brief, simple poem while away. I do wish my better half hadn’t told my parents – who were at the same holiday home for a couple of days – that I was writing something, not least because it was four lines of faint whimsy, nothing special despite it feeling good to write, to think about, but mainly because this prompted a drawn out period of mock-poetry from my parents.

The three lines which came naturally, nicely, sat looking at me while my parents traded wilfully idiot rhymes. The fourth line forced out, drawn out like an arrow from a deep wound, hamstrung by my expectation of the questions that would follow as I came downstairs, the inquisitive interest coloured by the unmalicious but disrespectful horsing around.

Was I writing (the word intoned in an overt attempt to disguise discomfort, while achieving only to highlight this), was I writing a poem (ditto, more so), what was it?

Fuck off, fuck off, fuck off, fuck off, fuck off.

Fucking respect it. Fucking respect it. Fucking respect it. Don’t fucking ask. Don’t fucking ask. Don’t you dare fucking ask if you don’t fucking respect it.

I’m back.

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About Ben Catley-Richardson

Writer, reader, husband. Father!
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